Genetics of Fusarium head blight resistance in soft red winter wheat using a genome-wide association study

Bikash Ghimire, Mohamed Mergoum, Alfredo D. Martinez-Espinoza, Suraj Sapkota, Sumit Pradhan, Md Ali Babar, Guihua Bai, Yanhong Dong, James W. Buck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Host resistance is an effective and sustainable approach to manage the negative impact of Fusarium head blight (FHB) on wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grain yield and quality. The objective of this study was to characterize the phenotypic responses and identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) conditioning different FHB resistance types using a panel of 236 elite soft red winter wheat (SRWW) lines in a genome-wide association study (GWAS). The panel was phenotyped for five FHB and three morphological traits under two field and two greenhouse environments in 2018–2019 and 2019–2020. We identified 160 significant marker–trait associations (MTAs) for FHB traits and 11 MTAs for plant height. Eleven QTL showed major effects and explained >10% phenotypic variation (PV) for FHB resistance. Among these major loci, three QTL were stable and five QTL exhibited a pleiotropic effect. The QTL QFhb-3BL, QFhb-5AS, QFhb-5BL, QFhb-7AS.1, QFhb-7AS.2, and QFhb-7BS are presumed to be novel. Pyramiding multiple resistance alleles from all the major-effect QTL resulted in a significant reduction in FHB incidence, severity, index, deoxynivalenol (DON), and Fusarium-damaged kernel (FDK) by 17, 43, 45, 55, and 25%, respectively. Further validation of these QTL could potentially facilitate successful introgression of these resistance loci in new cultivars for improved FHB resistance in breeding programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere20222
JournalPlant Genome
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are thankful to Thomas Buck, John Youmans, Carol Picard, Pratima Poudel, Brian Vermeer, Benjamin Lopez, and Steve Sutton for their help during inoculation, data collection, and postharvest activities.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. The Plant Genome published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Crop Science Society of America.


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